Brady Lake residents may vote to dissolve village from KentWired.com on Vimeo.
When you enter Brady Lake village, you’ll be greeted by a sign that says
“Travel at your own risk.”
And that is for good reason.
While Brady Lake was a vacation resort and amusement park in the 1890s, it’s now referred to as ‘Pot Hole City’ by residents.
The village has been struggling to keep up its roads for nearly 20 years. Main village roads such as Erie Street and Cox Street are almost completely covered in pot holes.
Residents are not only fed up with their bumpy drive to work, but also high taxes.
Although it is home to roughly 470 residents, Brady Lake Village has the highest tax rate in Portage County.
The city recently had to cut its fire department and asked citizens for a one percent tax increase.
Residents are taking their anger to the polls this May and will vote to dissolve the village.
It has been incorporated by the state of Ohio since 1927.
Mayor Hal Lehman said the roads have gotten so bad because the state cut funding.
“It was hard to recover from something like that. The money that was cut was the money we
were going to use for the roads,” Mayor Hal Lehman said in a phone interview Thursday.
The cost of repairing these roads is roughly 750,000, and the city doesn’t have enough money to afford that.
Residents aren’t happy.
They’ve taken to village council meetings and now social media to express their concerns.
One resident said she wishes she wouldn’t have even moved to Brady Lake because of the road conditions and high property taxes.
Mayor Lehman says the city passed a levy in November and should hear back about the funds in the next few days.
He hopes residents will vote not to dissolve if the roads get fixed.
“I’d hate to see it all gone,” he said. “If they can just trust us; once we get the roads fixed, I think that will turn things around for us.”
This isn’t the first time Brady Lake has considered dissolving the village. Absentee voting began this week in Portage County, and many residents plan to make their voice heard this May.
“It’s going to be up to them,” Mayor Lehman added.
If the village votes to dissolve, it will become part of Franklin Township, which is home to both Kent and Ravenna.
Brady Lake Village Council hears from the community every other week at meetings. The next one takes place on April 12th.
Anna Huntsman is a reporter for TV2, contact her at [email protected]